Kate and Levi are the minds behind @werollwithit. Kate is an accomplished graphic designer, marketer and photographer who has worked with some of the biggest brands. Levi is a former professional martial artist who has started multiple businesses of his own learning the ins and outs of growing a business - from the branding to the policies and procedures.
They have built a very successful marketing agency called Sweat Equity Creative which has allowed them to thrive in the digital nomad world. With their van, Bruce Banner, and two pups, Jitsy and Uke, they are able to roam around North America working with companies, helping them grow and achieve their marketing goals.
One of their biggest clients is TouRig - a van conversion company. You may have seen their logo posted on their van or in their Instagram posts. They have been able to partner up with TouRig to test equipment, advertise products and provide consultations to people interested in getting their own van conversion done.
As busy as they are with Sweat Equity Creative, they were able to answer a few questions I had about their vanlife and careers…
What started your journey into the wild world of living in a van?
I’d done a couple of road trips in rental vans and really enjoyed them. I’d get home and think, ‘I wish I could just live like that all the time’… well now I really do!
Pictured above: Kate in Joshua Tree with a rental van
How long has “Bruce Banner” been your home on wheels? Bruce is a relatively new edition to the family, we purchased him in December 2019 and kinda camped out in him while we did a road trip to get his build started. We went from Florida, where we found him to Arkansas, to pick up Backwoods Adventure Mods exterior pieces, to Oregon to have Linex the Coast do his exterior, then to Colorado, where we worked with TouRig on his full build. He was completed and on the road by early March and will stay with us for the 2020 season.
Before Bruce, we had another Mercedes Sprinter which was a 170 3500 which we built out ourselves. That van now lives with a family in Oklahoma and we see that they get it out on plenty of adventures.
Pictured above: (left) Kate, Levi and Jitsu camping out in Bruce before the build. (right)Levi installing at the Backwoods Adventure Mods workshop with founder Evan House
How long can you completely go off-grid for? This is a tricky question, as it depends on a lot of factors…
Are we still moving or stationary? Is there a water source and fishing opportunities? Is it the summer or winter months? Where, when and how you camp can make a big difference here. Let’s put it into the worst and best case scenarios:
Our heat and cooktop run on diesel from the van, so if we were stationary but needed heat 24/7, and had to cook inside and only had the water on board, we could do at least two weeks comfortably.
If it was summer time, we were stationary and had a water source, we could easily do two months or more.
Pictured above: Bruce has 375 watt solar with 600AH of lithium battery on board as part of the build out by TouRig
What are your top 5 van hacks or gear recommendations?
MaxTrax - Although we lend these out more than use them ourselves, they will get you out of sticky situations (https://maxtraxus.com/)
Scheel-Mann Seats - We put these in all our vans and they are nothing short of incredible. (http://scheel-mann.com/)
TouRig Bunker Bags - The best for storing all sorts of things and keeping the rig tidy. (https://shop.mytourig.com/)
Rumpl Blanket - It squishes up small and we can use it outside. (https://www.rumpl.com/)
Falken Tires - Even if you are 2wd, invest in some good tires and you’ll have more fun on the trails. (https://www.falkentire.com/)
What prompted you to start your business, Sweat Equity Creative?
We needed to combine our skills for a business that could not only work, but thrive on a full-time travel lifestyle. At Sweat Equity Creative we tailor creative marketing and brand development solutions for our clients. We are able to tap into a vast range of networks and create content from a wide-array of locations very quickly. We are at a point now where our business relies on our ability to roam around.
Did you go to school to learn your marketing skills or was it self taught?
A little of both, I worked in advertising and public relations in Sydney, Australia and New York City, for some large agencies, before going freelance and focussing on fashion photography and post production. Now I get to use a lot of aspects from my twenty year career to help our clients develop their brand voice.
If you could give advice to somebody trying to transition to making money online/digitally what would it be?
Start before you start. We knew the transition to a nomadic life would not be simple, physically or emotionally, so we were sure to launch our business while we were still living at a fixed address. This gave us time to roll out a slow launch, to practice with our work and clients to see how we could keep up with deliverables while travelling and having potentially limited access to cell service.
Favourite road trip song??
We actually try to theme our music to where we are located - so we’d listen to Blues in Memphis and Zydeco in New Orleans. Or sometimes anything with the name or a reference to the location we’re in, my Philadelphia playlist is pretty fun!
Thank you Kate and Levi for taking the time to let us in on your nomadic lifestyle. It is inspiring to see that your career can actually be better off if you have the ability to be mobile.
With the reach of the online world I think it will be increasingly valuable to have the capability to take your work anywhere in the world. Kate talks about being able to use their vast network when fulfilling client's needs - that network and speed of communication would not be possible without having an online presence. I hope Sprintrview #4 has shed some light on the power of working online and most of all, being able to work as a digital nomad!
If you are curious about TouRig, contact Kate and she can set up a private consultation to help get you started with planning your build out.
Check out werollwithit.com to learn more about what they do!
Thanks for reading!
Three vanlife essentials to check out:
Up your cooler game with this amazing cooler from pelican. With the ability to keep ice for up to 10 days and an unlimited lifetime warranty you can't go wrong! Features include molded handles and tie-down slots, 3 inch locking latches, stainless steel bottle opener and an anti-shear hinge system
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This chair has proven itself with an average rating of 4.5 stars after over 1,700 customer ratings! Time to treat yourself to a proper camp chair that won't fall apart after one season. "Size does matter! Lightweight packable design: Fits in Backpacks and Carry-on luggage (14in storage bag included). Stop hauling around bulky chairs! At only 2 pounds the Yizi Go chair is ready to go Wherever and Whenever you are!" - Trekology